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Getting the Most from Your Professional Development Training Experience

Our Reasonable Accommodation Policy


At Professional Development, our aim is to create supportive learning and assessment conditions for all students.

This includes reasonable accommodation for any special requirements with regard to learning, assessment work, and course attendance.

Special requirements can include, but are not limited to:


  • Mobility impairment
  • Dietary requirements
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Vocalisation issues
  • Shyness and anxiety in group situations
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Visual impairment

If there is anything that could impact your training or your assessment work that you would like us to be aware of, please let us know as soon as possible before your course begins.

How to communicate your requirements

The fastest way to let us know about any requirements you have is to contact your Training Consultant by email or phone.

Your Training Consultant will record your request and ensure that the course tutor and your QQI assessor is made aware of the requirement.

You can also reach our main office line by calling Freephone 1800 910 810 or Dublin 01 861 0700, or email us via ask-us@professionaldevelopment.ie.

What happens next?

As requirements differ, your Training Consultant will advise on how we can accommodate your specific request.

At any time during your training and assessment process with us, you can contact your training consultant with questions about your request relating to your time on our training course.

Following training, if you have any questions regarding your request that relate to your assessment, please contact our Assessments Team via email at assessments@professionaldevelopment.ie.


Although we make every reasonable effort to accommodate each request, we cannot guarantee the facilitation of a request until we have reviewed the requirements and assessed whether we can provide adequate support.

Read the Full Policy

You'll find our full Reasonable Accommodation Policy outlined below.

If you have any questions relating to this policy, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by Freephone 1800 910 810 or Dublin 01 861 0700.

Alternatively, you can email us at ask-us@professionaldevelopment.ie.


Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Table of Contents

1. Purpose and Policy Considerations
2. Definitions
3. Scope
4. Policy Statement
5. Procedures and Practices

1. Purpose and Policy Considerations


Professional Development is committed to providing a supportive, fair, and equitable training and assessment environment for all students (learners).

As outlined in the Equal Status Acts of 2003 and 2004, we provide reasonable accommodation to meet the needs of our learners.

It is important to distinguish between a Policy for Reasonable Accommodation and accommodating circumstances of temporary illness or personal circumstances.

Where temporary illness or personal circumstances occur, which impede a learner’s ability to participate in assessment tasks, they should refer to the QQI Learner Handbook section regarding "Requests for an Extension". Where accommodations are deemed reasonable, they will be provided by the Assessments Team and at no additional cost to the learner.

With respect to assessment, procedural responses to reasonable accommodation adhering to the principle of adaptation rather than dilution of assessment criteria; ensuring that those who do not receive reasonable accommodation are not disadvantaged. Reasonable Accommodation is guided by QQI (2013) policy outlined as follows:

“Some learners with disabilities may be unable to demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes through conventional assessment tasks. Reasonable accommodations will therefore need to be made to deal with issues that would otherwise prevent such learners from demonstrating their achievement.

Reasonable accommodations are concerned with adapting the assessment approach, not with diluting the standard of learning to be attained, interfering with it, or amending the intended learning outcomes. Assessments which involve reasonable accommodations should be consistent with those which do not. Reasonable accommodations may apply to any assessment.

Reasonable accommodations are normally identified well in advance of the assessment event by a needs assessment process. The findings of this process should be communicated in writing to [the Training Consultant], who will in turn distribute the information as required to [trainers, assessors, and the RAP], as well as to the learner concerned.” - QQI, 2013


Note: Professional Development communication channels have been inserted to this excerpt where “[ ]” is present.

2. Definitions


Reasonable accommodation is defined by the Equal Status Act (2000-2015) as follows:

“A reasonable accommodation is any means of providing special treatment or facilities if, without such accommodations, it would be impossible or unduly difficult for the person to avail of the service provided by the educational establishment.”


The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (2019) provides the following definition:

“...practical changes which service providers have to make so that people with disabilities can get and use all kinds of services on an equal basis with others. This includes services which are free of cost (for example, a public playground, or social welfare services), as well as services which you pay for.”


In essence, Reasonable Accommodation refers to modifications to academic requirements made to ensure that requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of disability, or certificated additional learning needs against a qualified applicant or learner with a disability or certificated additional learning needs.

Additional definitions relevant to this policy are as follows:

  • Readers: A reader is a person provided to assist a learner with a disability by reading assessment questions aloud without suggesting the answer.
  • Writers / Scribes: A writer is a person who will, on request, write the answers exactly as given or dictated by a learner.
  • Sign language interpreters: Sign Language Interpreters must be qualified to interpret Sign or other similar types of language.

3. Scope


This policy applies to learners with a disability or specific learning need who require reasonable accommodations to enable them to demonstrate their competence and to complete assessment tasks associated with programme and / or learning outcomes on an equitable basis.

Therefore, Professional Development actively seeks to develop and implement policies and procedures that promote both equality and equity.

Learners, including potential students with recognised disadvantages or disabilities may be given special consideration during course delivery and assessment.

4. Policy Statement


Professional Development is committed to the adaptation of assessment methodologies so as to amend the aspects of the assessment technique which prevent a learner’s participation in the assessment due to an evidenced disability.

Professional Development is committed to supporting learners with disabilities or specific learning needs as far as is reasonably practicable as outlined in the AHEAD Charter for Inclusive Teaching and Learning.

AHEAD (Association for Higher Education Access and Disability) is a National Centre of expertise on Inclusive Educational Practice.

As highlighted by AHEAD, the term “Reasonable Accommodation” is embedded in National and EU equality legislation and is the cornerstone of the UNCRPD on human rights.

The issue of reasonable accommodation in assessment is an element that needs to be considered within the overall context of catering for learners with disabilities including access to programmes:

  1. The provision of needs assessments for learners

  2. Reasonable accommodations within programmes

  3. Reasonable accommodations in assessment

It is the responsibility of the learner to draw such matters to the attention of their Training Consultant through any means they are most comfortable with.

5. Procedures and Practices


The Training Consultant:


The Training Consultant must communicate the application for Reasonable Accommodation to any relevant parties (Assessments Team, trainer, venue etc.). Where the application for Reasonable Accommodation affects or may potentially affect the learner’s assessment work, the Assessments Team are responsible for communicating the application to the Assessor.

The Training Consultant must inform the learner of the outcome of his / her application. If an application is successful, the Training Consultant must work with all relevant parties to accommodate the learner, while strictly adhering to the assessment principles and the standard of knowledge, skill and competence required for certification.

The Trainer and the Assessor:


Once an application for Reasonable Accommodation is approved, the trainer and assessor, together with the Training Consultant (and other relevant persons if required) are required to plan and implement an alternative / adapted assessment in order to accommodate the learner, while strictly adhering to the assessment principles and to the standard of knowledge, skill and competence required for certification.

The Learner:


The learner is required to inform Professional Development, by identifying themselves as a person with specific needs and requesting the provision of alternative assessments and / or other support services that best meet their needs, prior to the commencement of the course.

The application must be in writing, and learners are invited to submit any requests via the booking confirmation email sent at time of booking.

The learner's specific needs are reviewed by the Director of Training. Where relevant, the Director of Training will consult with trainers, assessors, and / or venue staff to assess whether it is possible to facilitate the learner’s request.

Professional Development will make all reasonable effort to accommodate but cannot guarantee the facilitation of a request from a learner.

Temporary circumstances:


The learner is required to inform Professional Development by identifying themselves, due to temporary circumstances (e.g., temporary injury), as soon as possible. This may allow reasonable accommodation to be facilitated.

The application must be in writing via an email to the Assessments Team (assessments@professionaldevelopment.ie). This is detailed in the assessment brief and the QQI Learner Handbook.

Regardless of the circumstances pertaining to a learner applying for reasonable accommodation, the learner is required to submit relevant evidence / documentation, as requested.

Adaptation of Assessment


Adaptations of assessment for a learner may be implemented by Professional Development without having to request permission from QQI. These adaptations may include the following and / or other reasonable adaptation:

  • Adaptive equipment / software - use of Assistive Technology
  • Additional rest periods during scheduled class time
  • Participation of scribes / readers
  • The use of sign language
  • The support of practical assistants
  • Additional time in assessments
  • Modified presentation of assessment work e.g., enlargements

The implementation of these adaptations will ensure that all learners are assessed on an equitable basis.

Professional Development practices the following principles when considering Reasonable Accommodation applications / requests from learners:

  • Any adaptation of the assessment by the assessor should facilitate the learner to demonstrate their achievement of the standards without significantly altering the standard.
  • The adaptation should seek to amend only the aspects of the assessment technique or instrument which prevent a learner’s participation in the assessment.
  • Special assessment arrangements / adaptations are not intended to and should not reduce the validity and reliability of the assessment or compromise the standard.
  • It should be used where the particular assessment technique(s) disadvantages the learner in assessment.